“If you can, try and use slightly overripe bananas for this banana loaf recipe as they’ll give you a treacly, caramelly intensity that works so well. The chocolate butter is painfully enjoyable, but my nutritionist, Laura, has requested that I suggest just having a smidgen with a slice of the loaf, so I'm sure you'll all respect her wishes when tucking into this delight. ”
Spread the walnuts out on a baking tray and toast gently in the oven for 5 minutes, or until they smell fantastic.
Meanwhile, quickly peel and mash up the bananas, so you’ve got a mixture of smooth and chunky.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor (or by hand), until smooth and pale. Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping the sides as you go so everything gets mixed together, then spoon into a large bowl.
Tip the toasted walnuts onto a board, then quickly run a knife through them, leaving some halved and others fairly fine so you get a good range of textures.
Add the mashed bananas and chopped walnuts to the bowl, then sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. Mix to a smooth batter.
Tear off 1 metre of greaseproof paper, scrunch it and wet under a tap. Drizzle a little olive oil over both sides and rub that in, then push the scrunched greaseproof into a 1-litre loaf tin, getting it right down into the corners (it’s ok if it’s a bit scruffy).
Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and cook on the middle shelf in the oven for 1 hour, or until cooked through. To test if it's cooked, poke a skewer into the middle – if it comes out clean, it's done, if not cook for another few minutes.
While the loaf bakes, make the chocolate butter. Snap the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt slowly over a pan of gently simmering hot water.
Once melted, remove from the heat, and finely grate in the orange zest. Stir to combine, then leave to cool slightly.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together, then beat in the cooled chocolate. Once you’ve got a nice even mixture, transfer it to a little pot or a cute butter dish and sprinkle on a tiny pinch of sea salt from a height to give it a little salty kick.
Either put in the fridge to set for a few hours, or serve right away spread on a slice of warm banana loaf. Keep any leftover chocolate butter in a jar in the fridge for another day, and just take it out of the fridge to soften before serving.